The great iPhone pricing debacle

By Don Reisinger Personal Tech, AT&T, cell phone

Just a few weeks ago, the world was waiting to hear what Steve Jobs had to say about the iPhone 3G. Would it feature GPS? Would it offer MMS and a chat app? Would the iPhone App Store strut its stuff?

All of those questions were answered in one way or another, and although we weren’t too happy with everything we heard, one important element of that keynote speech stuck in our minds: the new iPhone 3G would come in at a most astounding price of $199 for the 8GB model and $299 for the 16GB model.

In one fell swoop, all of the lacking features were forgotten as we all readied ourselves for the purchase of an updated iPhone at a price that was more than affordable. For weeks we thought of the future and couldn’t believe that Apple could offer its iPhone at such a deeply discounted price.

And then it all came crashing down.

AT&T on Tuesday, released its iPhone pricing scheme, which, if you ask me, is nothing more than a disgusting plan to screw you out of every last penny.

According to the company, only those people that purchased an iPhone before July 11, want to activate a new line, or are eligible for an upgrade discount, will be allowed to purchase the iPhone 3G for $199 or $299. For the rest of you suckers, you’ll be doling out a whopping $399 for the 8GB model and $499 for the 16GB model.

Gee, thanks, Apple and AT&T.

Wasn’t it just a few weeks ago that Steve Jobs was amazing us all with that price point? You can’t tell me that he didn’t already know the scheme AT&T had up its sleeve. And if he did, why would he waste our time promising us something that the vast majority of people who want an iPhone won’t even get?

Once again, the early adopter has been dragged over the fire and Apple has been the culprit. Instead of offering us a device at a price that’s both fair and worthwhile, AT&T is playing the same game it and the rest of its carrier buddies play that aim to screw us out of cash and rights.
And you know what the worst part is? Not one person at AT&T cares and I’ll bet that at least one apologist will comment on this column saying that I’m out of line and it’s just the cell phone companies being cell phone companies.

Well you know what? I’m sick and tired of giving these companies a fair shake. How many more times must we be promised something at a lower price only to find out later that it’s actually twice as much before we have enough?

I’m not buying a used car here, folks, I’m buying a blasted cell phone.

Once again, both Apple and AT&T have shown their true colors. Instead of standing on stage in his foolish turtleneck and jeans quoting prices that matter to only a portion of the market, Steve Jobs should have spent less time letting the Associated Press wax poetic about its junky application and more time explaining this pricing deal with AT&T.

The proof is in the pudding: nothing AT&T or Steve Jobs said about pricing should be trusted.

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